John Sullivan / “#ActivistJohn” / "#JaydenX" Update

Our first thread about John was intended to help protect leftist protest communities from his harmful behavior. Since John’s little stunt at the Capitol during the DC #Insurrection, we have more to talk about.

(1/43) Protester Community Alert: UPDATE: John Sullivan / "Act
This is a hella long thread... TL;DR: While it’s still unclear if John's end goal is chaos and confusion or if this is simply a side effect of shameless grifting — it’s clear that he continues to be a threat to protester safety whether he’s on the ground or online.

Frantically cleaning up John’s messes continues to be a waste of time and energy in the nationwide movement for Black lives. So let’s continue to stay ahead of him, establish a national lockout, and wrap up this weird saga so we can get back to work, baby!

Covered in this thread:

1. General updates (since our 11/26 thread)
2. John’s harmful tactics/behaviors
3. What happened last week (DC, 1/6)
4. Next steps

If you haven’t read our 11/26 thread about John, we recommend doing so for full context.

1⃣General Updates:

Shortly after our 11/26 thread, Seattle protesters made it clear that John is not welcome at our actions or in our online spaces. He later changed his main account names from “Activist X” and “Activist John” to “Activist Jayden” and “Jayden X.”

One of John’s accounts gained over 10K (obviously purchased) Instagram followers almost overnight and began interacting with protesters in #LA, who turned him away as well. (John is still claiming on socials to be based in Seattle even though he was never here.)

(6/43) One of John's Instagram Accounts with 1,878 Followers As of Same Instagram Account with 12.7K Followers as of Dec 3, 202
While John has complained about accusations against him, he has been unable to answer for his reckless opsec, grifting/profiteering, self-promotion, sabotage/leaking of community actions, contradictory social media activity, or his involvement with the far-right.

(7/43) ID: Tweet with screen cap of DMs with Activist John.  Text: Tweet: "Also John platformed the proud boys at one of t
Thanks to the numerous comrades in #SLC, #PDX, #DC, #Seattle, #NYC, and #LA who have reached out to tell us about their interactions with John, we have a better idea of his MO and how we can continue to keep him out of leftist protest scenes for everyone’s safety.

2⃣ John’s harmful tactics/behaviors that leftist protesters should be aware of:

1. Building mutuals as a form of credibility
2. Reckless group chats with poor opsec/infosec
3. Fixation on "spicy" actions, trauma porn
4. Grifting, mishandling of protester info

1. Building Mutuals:

John is continuing to burn through new accounts, shed and develop aliases, and is still recklessly putting leftist protesters at risk. (When we say “John” is doing this, we’re more than confident that a small team is helping him.)

John follows dozens of community members at once — including but not limited to local restaurants, protesters with small followings, protest supporters, streamers, and organizers.

(11/43) Samples of DM's Rebellion Baby received about John following
This is intended to help cement “credibility” within communities and give the appearance of having many mutuals with anyone who comes across his profile.

2. Reckless Group Chats:

John has added people to signal/telegram chats — sometimes containing hundreds of people — with no vetting processes. Any serious protester will tell you that this behavior is suspicious and dangerous. Poor vetting allows fash, LE, and even …

… well-intentioned folks with poor judgement to have access to sensitive info — putting everyone in the group at risk. In secure group chats, there have been instances where John has leaked info about actions. A comrade from PDX shared their experiences with us:

(14/43) Anonymous instagram DM from PDX: John's Poor Infosec in GrouAnonymous instagram DM from PDX: John's Poor Infosec in GrouAnonymous instagram DM from PDX: John's Poor Infosec in GrouAnonymous instagram DM from PDX: John's Poor Infosec in Grou
And then there’s this bizarre situation where John fucks up in a Signal group chat and members discover that he is pretending to be another person to boost his own credibility. John plays dumb, specifically "baffled," when he's caught.

(15/43) Signal Chat: John Caught Pretending to be Another Person to 2/4  ID: Screenshots of a Signal chat, 2 of 4. For Group memSignal Chat: John Caught Pretending to be Another Person to Signal Chat: John Caught Pretending to be Another Person to
3. Fixation on "Spicy" Actions, Trauma Porn

This one’s tricky. For transparency, the Rebellion Baby team supports a broad diversity of protest tactics, including the smashy and spicy kind. We don’t peace-police, and we believe in people over property.

But John’s social media content is made almost ENTIRELY of footage of riots, destruction, violence, and most concerning — incriminating footage of protesters. There is barely any mention of mutual aid, ideology/theory, collaboration with other activists, …

… or community engagement. While this can be chalked up to clickbait and clout-chasing, it’s important to note that this bizarre emphasis on chaotic scenes supports scary narratives consistent with far-right fear mongering.

John has also pressed newly-acquainted protesters about their “radical” views or painted them as militant, inviting them to join “militias” or firearms trainings. This behavior strikes many protesters as an attempt to bait them into making incriminating statements.

(19/43) Screenshot of DMs: "I posted a pic of me and my new rifScreenshot of DM: "he followed me on multiple accounts,
The other overwhelming theme of John’s social media presence is self-promotion and monetary gain. Which brings us back to Insurgence USA, which is problematic in a few ways.

4. Grifting and Mishandling of Protester Info:

John’s “Insurgence USA" site is still thought to primarily be another desperate attempt for monetary gain and credibility. Most of his site content is ripped off from other online resources without credit attribution.

(21/43) Example of plagiarized content on Origina
In early-December, the site had a shiny new page called “Bloc Gear Collective” that John promotes on Instagram. As if it wasn't weird and grifty enough to begin with, we also received reports of protesters being doxxed after visiting this site.

(22/43) Screenshot of John's "Bloc Gear Collective" accounBloc Gear Collective live on instagram, featuring "acti
At that point in time, while the shop and donate pages linked to secure external pages, the site itself was not secured with an SSL certificate. A certificate has since been purchased, probably for purpose of ass-covering.

(23/43) SSL certificate showing validity from 12/28/2020 to 3/28/202
This means that any private and personal info submitted through the contact and newsletter signup forms was at risk of interception by malicious third parties before the certificate was purchased. This includes names, emails, and phone numbers.

Any serious activist would know better than to collect private and personal information in such an unsafe way. And John should especially know all about that, considering that he likes to brag about his experience in cybersecurity.

So now that we’ve reacquainted ourselves with John and his bizarre behavior, let’s talk about what he did in DC and the implications it has for protester safety.

3⃣ What Happened Last Week

CW: gun violence

On 1/6, John was present and enthusiastically participating in the DC Insurrection. He streamed himself breaking into the Capitol with Trump supporters, as well as the shooting of Ashli Babbitt.

Soon after, John made a shocking appearance on CNN’s @AC360 with @AndersonCooper, where he introduced himself as a blm/antifascist activist — a claim that would obviously be denied by leftists from multiple cities who have met him.

But John’s airtime has fueled conspiracy theories about BLM/antifa involvement in the DC Insurrection, and grabbed attention of far-right reactionaries like Andy Ngo, Rudy Giuliani, and Seattle’s hometown antagonist, SPOG President Mike Solan.

Similarly, John’s stunt has been a beneficial talking point for his brother, James. Despite Brother James claiming that John doesn’t deserve a platform, he sure loves to keep talking about the tragedy of John succumbing to the “radical left,” …

… while crediting him for grandiose accomplishments such as “singlehandedly sparking the patriot movement in Utah.”

CW: Gun violence

Shortly after his interview, John was detained, and released shortly after with no charges. Considering that he live-streamed himself taking part in the DC Insurrection and stood over Ashli Babbitt after she was shot inside the Capitol, …

(33/43) Screenshot of video from Jayden X's youtube channel. Title:
… his quick release has lead to speculation that John may have tipped off LE as a trade, as he’s been accused of doing in the past. It’s debatable whether John intends to be as helpful to fash and LE as he has been, but there’s no doubt …

… that John’s top priorities are centering himself and making a buck — even if people are harmed in the process. Being cozy with cops and opposition is likely a symptom of craving constant praise and attention. He loves to feel important.

Regardless, he remains dangerous to leftist protest circles. And everyone who has gotten to know him is tired of his shit.

4⃣ Community Next Steps:

To continue to protect ourselves from grifters and infiltrators like John, leftist protesters should do the following:

1. Continue to block sus accounts such as repeating/copycat accounts, accounts with high # of follower w/ low engagement, or circular engagement with a few similar accounts. NEVER open links from accounts like this.

2. Don’t accept invites to signal or telegram groups with poor or absent vetting practices, especially if the invite is from someone you don’t know. Leave chats that make you uncomfortable.

3. Be wary of “activist” accounts that accentuate gawk-worthy self-promotion and footage of violence, riots, destruction and/or self-promotion while lacking any mention of mutual aid, ideology/theory, collaboration with other activists, and community engagement.

4. We also encourage the community to familiarize themselves with basic red-flag behaviors of infiltrators/grifters. Covered in our last thread, starting with this tweet:

Thank you to everyone who reached out to share stories with us and helped circulate our last thread. This was a community effort. Now that John's problematic behavior has gotten enough media attention, we feel that we can get back to our mutual aid work. 💖✨

If you still have information to share about John Sullivan or his brother James please share with us by DM, or email us at For your safety, please refrain from sharing self-identifying details in public comments/replies!

More Relevant Threads:

1. Mid-November warning from PDX about John’s behavior:

2. John’s "Riot Porn" Twitter account:

3. Max Blumenthal's deep-dive:

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More from @RebellionBaby

26 Nov 20
🚨#SeattleProtests Community Alert:

We have reason to believe that a likely infiltrator/agent provocateur by the name of John Sullivan, or “Activist John,” is attempting to insert himself in the Seattle protest community.

(sorry babe, long thread)

(1/23) #seattleprotestcomms Image
John has been kicked from the #SaltLakeCity and #Portland protest scenes due to alarming behaviors including grifting/profiteering, self-promotion/clout chasing, sabotage of community actions, threats of violence, and — maybe most disturbingly — ties to the far-right.

In short — John’s brother, James, is the co-founder of a pro-Trump org called “Civilized Awakening,” and has strong ties to Proud Boys — even having spoken at a Proud Boy rally. The brothers’ polarized political stances conveniently bolster the other's public personas.

Read 28 tweets
23 Nov 20
Rest in power, Travis Nagdy and Kenneth Jones.

CW: Murder by police

Travis, a Louisville activist, was shot and killed last night, 11/22.* Kenneth was shot and killed by Omaha police last Thursday, 11/19.

(1/3) Image
*edit: it was originally thought that Travis was shot and killed by LMPD. Details are still unclear, but this does not appear to be an officer involved shooting.

Join us tonight at 6pm for a candlelit vigil at Seattle’s East Precinct to mourn our lost siblings. ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻

#seattleprotestcomms #seattleprotests #seattle #blacklivesmatter  #travisnagdy #kennethjones

Read 4 tweets

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